It’s always a bit of a surprise when we agree with a government natural resource agency. And that happened last week when an Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) biologist stated outright that coyote culls are ineffective.
The Simcoe Reformer reported that during a presentation to Norfolk council MNR biologist Kristen Diemer noted “bounties have proven ineffective at reducing the number of coyotes and occurrences of problem coyotes.”
In fact, Diemer said the program to cull coyotes in Ontario was discontinued some 40 years ago for that very reason.
The bulk of available science on the subject indicates that attempts to control coyote populations through lethal means backfire – coyote populations actually increase as the area’s family units are disrupted, and new territories are formed. It is also clear that there are humane, non-lethal solutions which are sustainable and available to communities across Canada.
Combining education, enforcement and outreach are effective means of preventing conflicts with wildlife and ensuring an ongoing, safe balance in the ecosystem. Hazing or other aversion conditioning techniques can be utilized when people become uncomfortable with the proximity of coyotes. But what is most beneficial, in the long-term, is teaching compassion and the beauty of all living beings to humans.
They’ve learned to live with us, after all. The least we can do is learn to live with them.
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